With a lucrative contract extension in his back pocket and a bounce-back season behind him, things have been looking up for Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene.
Duchene told Adrian Dater of the Denver Post that he’s totally on board with the plan to move Ryan O’Reilly from his normal center position to a spot on his first line alongside P.A. Parenteau, too.
“I just talked some with Ryan today, and he’s going to be great on the wing,” Duchene said. “I think he’s played some there before, and I think he can be really strong there.”
Dater believes that it O’Reilly will be a good fit as well.
I tend to think O’Reilly will be a good winger too. He’s bigger than Duchene, so he’ll be stronger in the corners. He’s great at keeping pucks deep in the zone with his body and positioning, and he goes to the net hard. So I think he’ll find maybe more rebound junk goals as a winger than a center, where your defensive responsibilities are greater than a winger and you have to skate more.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.